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'Die-in' at TOTAL Oil HQ over Burma links

greentea | 02.10.2007 12:48 | Social Struggles | London

Demonstrators dressed in blood-soaked bandages have this morning staged a die-in at French oil company TOTAL's London headquarters in Cavendish Square, W1.

out front
out front

start of the die-in
start of the die-in

escorted out
escorted out


Holding a banner reading 'TOTALITARIAN OIL: OUT OF BURMA NOW', they are demanding that the company immediately halts its operations in Burma, including the multi-million dollar Yadana gas project [1], and announces a full divestment from the country until human rights abuses end and a democratic regime is in place.

Tom Shapiro, one of those at the protest, said:

"As reports filter out that thousands of people may have lost their lives in Burma this week standing up for their democratic rights, we are here to say that TOTAL, which funds the regime, has blood on its hands - and these workers have blood on their desks. TOTAL's financial partnership with the Burmese junta enables the oppression of 48 million people. They claim this is an 'ethical' approach that other investors would not replicate - rather, it's an affront to humanity. We urge everyone who supports the monks in their protest to target TOTAL in every way possible until they leave Burma."

The demonstration lends strength to the growing calls for consumer action against TOTAL over its role in Burma, after calls by Dutch political parties, Anglican church groups and French trade unions this week for the company to be targeted [2]. It is also indicates the increasingly grassroots nature of the solidarity protests that have spread across the world, with ordinary people targeting the companies and embassies with most leverage during the current crisis, rather than relying on more conventional channels.

Michelle Doyle, another of those at the protest, said:

"The Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, has been on television promising tough EU sanctions, but while bureaucrats talk, people are being killed in the streets. We couldn't bear just to watch it happening on TV and trust the government to make a difference. We are here to use people power to target the corporations which are keeping the Burmese junta in business - British timber companies, tourism providers, and above all TOTAL, the fourth biggest oil company in the world. It is these companies that are paying the wages of the soldiers who are shooting monks. We must make sure that not one more dollar of our money goes towards keeping the regime in power."

The demonstrators describe themselves as supporters of but not acting for Burma Campaign UK. They met on Sunday's demonstration in central London and via social networking site Facebook, and intend to take part in the International Day of Action on Saturday [3].


1. TOTAL Oil has had a joint business venture with the Burmese government since 1992. Its major project is the Yadana gas project in southern Burma, which earns the military regime hundreds of millions of dollars every year. See

2. Four Dutch political parties, including the Dutch Labour Party, part of the governing coalition, last week called for a boycott of Total:

The French CGT union called for Total to halt all gas extraction and freeze all transfers:

Meanwhile, there have been demonstrations and calls to boycott in Bradford, Bristol, and Nottingham in the UK in the last week:
Anglicans call for boycott:

3. This Saturday, 6 October, will be A Day of International Action for a Free Burma - Free Aung San Suu Kyi & Support the Monks in Burma. Over 1,000 people have already confirmed via Facebook that they will be attending. See:



another action

03.10.2007 13:36

There was also an action against a local Total garage in Oxford:



Display the following 2 comments

  1. I would have come — Me
  2. next one this friday — greentea